Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"It's not a tuuuumor"-oh wait, maybe it is!

So I've been composing this post in my mind for a couple of weeks now and still can't figure out how to say exactly what I need to.

You know how in the move Kindergarten Cop when Arnold says he has a headache and the little kid says..."maybe it's a tumor?"  And Arnold (in his best Arnold voice) replies "It's not a tuuumor."

Well guess what-sometimes it IS a tumor.  But sometimes a tumor can be a good thing!  I think I need to back up, or start over or something.

Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)-flat out I've just not been well.  If you see me on a regular basis or more likely if you have seen me recently but haven't seen me in awhile you will notice right away that something is going on.  I've put on a lot of weight, have a ruddish complexion and just overall my whole look and body has changed drastically in about 2-3 years.  I've had a host of other randomly odd symptoms and been to a few doctors sporadically during this time to try to figure out what might be going on.  I was really starting to get depressed because I'm a pretty active person, I'm NOT lazy and I don't eat badly.  I do like to cook but we eat most of our meals at home and I avoid most processed foods.  Simple things were starting to get hard like getting up from a chair, I was losing my hair, crazy baffling stuff.  My OBGYN thought I was going through early Menopause.  The GI doctor thought I may or may not have IBS.  The list goes on.

The GI doctor was astounded at my high blood pressure.  It was averaging 160/120.  My heart rate stayed around 120 most all of the time.  He sent me back to a primary care doctor who after a month of trying to get my BP down with no luck sent me to a cardiologist.  Thank goodness for a wonderful all-knowing cardiologist.  After determining I didn't have any heart related problems or abnormalities he went the extra mile on some blood work to try to determine the cause of the sky high BP.  He found an abnormally high level of something called Cortisol and suggested I might have something called Cushing Syndrome.


After looking up this and reading the signs and symptoms I was astounded at how much they matched exactly every single thing that had slowly been going wrong with my body.  The cardiologist referred me to an endocrinologist who started tests about 2+ weeks ago.  All the tests were starting to come back for very very high levels of cortisol, also leading to a possible Cushing's diagnosis.  But apparently one of the main tests that shows where the cortisol is coming from (usually your pituitary gland) came back negative.  Luckily she went ahead and ordered a CT scan of my abdomen last week to check for an Adrenal Mass (also a primary cause of Cushings).  

After just returning today from the doctor I have confirmation of a 2.5 cm soft tissue mass on my left adrenal gland.  It was an odd moment to rejoice that they found a tumor in my body.  A probably benign tumor that hopefully they can remove as soon as possible and I can start healing.  I'm still waiting on specifics of the surgery but it looks fairly non-invasive and after 3-6 months of drug therapy I should be on my way to feeling MUCH better.

I'm still not even sure what all this means but in the short term I can tell you a couple things. 

-It's an amazing relief to know something is actually wrong with me and it's not just in my head.  

-I think I'm going to take a break from the garden this year.  This actually makes me pretty sad but it's so much work and I just don't have the energy and I'm not sure how I will feel after surgery.  I thinking of subscribing to a local organic produce delivery service for the Spring and Summer instead.

-I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers from everyone for the last couple months as they have been working so hard to try and get the proper diagnosis for me.  I've been praying for almost a week that they please find something conclusive that will make me well and it looks like they finally have!

So when I know more I will update but this was the easiest way to let everyone know what was going on at once.



  1. Oh, Janet, thank goodness SOMETHING was finally found! I'll be rooting for you... may you heal and get back to normal in RECORD TIME! (You've already paid your dues in the suffering department!) Let me know if there's anything I can do; sorry I'm so far away!
    Lynn M.

  2. So very glad that you have found something also. As Lynn said Here is high hopes you will soon be on the road to feeling much better.

  3. So glad you finally have an answer and can get the proper treatment. You'll be doing great in no time I suspect!

    I get produce weekly from a CSA - wonderful local grown food. Good for you and the farmer,so that's an excellent way to go until you are back to your own garden!


  4. Good Golly Janet!
    I know this isn't a laughing matter in any way, but I hear your awesome sense of humor hear in your post and love that about you! :)

    I am so glad you have the answers you were looking for and you will be able to now face these challenges head on! {{HUGS}}

    The gardening will be there next year when you are feeling more like yourself. Love the idea of getting the deliveries. Love Nancy's take, good for you and the farmer!!

  5. Glad to know that you have some answers Janet. The worst is knowing something is wrong but not knowing what it is. I'm wishing you well with surgery and a speedy recovery. Let me know if I can do anything for you!

  6. Thanks for the update, my dear friend. But I've gotta say that my summer just won't be the same without your frequent jealousy-inducing produce posts. How 'bout just a few pots with your favorite herbs, one tomato plant, and one pepper plant? Seriously . . . I'm glad that you're giving yourself a break from that back-breaking work in the garden. Good thinking. Yay, in this case, for finding "the toooo-mah".

  7. Adding my positive thoughts to everyone else's. I am so glad you know something and that you're already on your way with a game plan.

    Keeping you in my prayers!

    deborah in hawai'i

  8. Janet, I'd read your surgery update but didn't see this post until today. I am so glad you got answers! I hope you are feeling back to your usual self again soon! Keeping you in my daily prayers and hoping you defeat Cushings once and for all.